> (1) On the 1800 Lincoln Co. NC census, Joseph Abernathy is shown with 2 sons, age 0-10, (and several daughters).
And are you SURE that particular Joseph is the son of the David whose will was probated in Lincoln County NC in Jul 1814? You have proof, not just wishful thinking? And that this Joseph is the same individual as the "Jos Abernathy" shown 1790 census in Lincoln County's 9th Militia Company, p. 114 (122), coded for 1 male and 6 females, all over 16 yr of age? There's certainly nothing whatever on all pre-1850 census records to indicate parental lineage, is there?
> Just as you believe David and Christine would not have left a daughter back in NC, I believe the same goes for Joseph (?)
Excuse me, but what child was it that this Joseph (and unidentified wife) was supposed to have left behind, when, and where? I am at a loss as to understand how that is pertinent to your David being a son (as you initially claimed) of the David who married Christina Forney.Or the Nancy whom you also (now) claim to be a child of David and Christina.On Nancy, I have no positive evidence of her parents, but cannot believe she's a daughter of Christina simply on the basis of the fact that her only adult child was given a middle name of Forney. I have found all too many individuals with a middle name that in no way indicates actual blood lineage to a presumed ancestor.
> (2) On the 1820 Giles Co.TN census, there is a David and a Joseph next to one another, ages 26-45
Granted. And does this prove that they're brothers? Suggests? Yes. Prove? Not necessarily so, Otis.
> (3) In all of TN (1820) census, I have only found 2 Head of HH David Abernathys: David (+ Christine) in Maury, and David in
> Giles. NOTE: In "Early Middle Tennessee Marriage Records," there IS, however, a David Abernathy in Davidson Co.,
> marrying a Mary Everett - in 1820.
Then you missed that Davidson County TN David Abernathy, single head of household, in the 1820 census, aged 26 to 45. And yes, he did marry Mary (Polly) Everett in Dec 1820 in Davidson County and became quite a respected member of that community: JP, Judge, several times estate administrator/guardian. Note: I have identified 4 of their 7 children, but cannot yet positively link him to parents, just as I cannot yet positively link your David to any parents. Nor, for that matter, alleged son Joseph Thomas Abinathery [sic] to David, Jane, and son Coleman, although that happenstance does appear more possible. And how do we know that what census records that _have_ survived is/are all that there was? That there were not several other 1820 census records that might have enumerated yet more David Abernathys? We don't. The AIS for 1820 shows the David Abernathy in Davidson County, and the David Abernathy in Giles County but no David Abernathy in Maury County. Instead, it shows Littleton Abernathy, one of David's sons. And have you found a will or estate settlement for David in either Maury or Giles county records? I haven't.
But let me see, now. How many different David Abernathys (in no particular order) do I have information on in my database, who were or just _might_ have been living in middle Tennessee at that time?? For the purpose of humoring your premises in your search for your David, I am stipulating birth no earlier than 1750 and no later than 1799.
1) David Abernathy (wife Christina), birth 1752, death 1838, son of David and Ann (Turner) Abernathy; lineage previously established to Robert Abernathy, arrived these shores 1652, Charles City County, VA.
2) David of Davidson County TN; birth given as abt 1784, death aft 1860. Lineage suspected but not yet positively established.
3) Untraced son of William Abernathy, son of Robert (4th) Abernathy and Sarah Abernathy (lineage same as #1). 1790 Census codes William as having 3 sons and 2 daughters under 16. None yet positively identified. Chance that one of them named David? I'd say rather high, but that's only a guess, not proof.
4) David son of David and Sarah (Blackstone) Abernathy; birth 1772, death Colbert Co, AL 1846. To the best of my knowledge only 2 children yet identified; Father's lineage unestablished.
5) David Wilson Abernathy, b. 1767 NC, d. central AL bef 1850, lineage not yet established, listed 1830 and 1840 Jefferson County AL census.
6) David son of David and Frances (Unknown) Abernathy, birth between 1780 and 1795; spouse, issue and death unknown, location circa 1820 unknown. Lineage not proven prior to Father, known to be a Tory in the Revolution.
8) Possible son of Joseph and unknown wife, who was probably brother to #1. That is, if that 1800 census record of Lincoln County that you cited does, in fact, refer to this particular Joseph and no other. If it does, then he had 2 sons and 6 daughters. So far as I'm aware, only one daughter has yet been identified (I have 7 positive and 2 possible issue for her). It appears that there was only one Jos (Joseph?) Abernathys listed on the 1790 Lincoln County NC census, as well, for what that's worth, neither of which prove that that individual is the same as the Joseph found in Maury County.
Well, there's a nice handful, although I still may have missed one or two, even after I eliminated some who lived and died in North Carolina, Virginia, or who very likely could not possibly impinge upon this middle-TN to Alabama migration path you are espousing. Of the above, I tend to doubt that #7 is your David, based on the revised dates you now have as of that 1850 Macon County Census (aged 66 on ancestry's index, not age 60), implying birth abt 1783. I also tend to doubt #5 was your David, since his wife is cited as being named Ruth. I've already voiced my objection to your claim for a previously unknown son of #1 as being your David. #2 can be found in 1860 in TN, so he'd hardly be yours, either. And #4 is a remote outsider, being as there is a David Aberanthy cited on the 1811 and 1870 Madison County tax lists, and some descendants are claiming this is him. On the whole, in light of other information I have been given, #6 seems to be a strong contender, but very difficult to prove.
That still leaves you with a few possibles: numbers 3, 6, and 7. And on all of these possibles, almost nothing is known beyond name (in the case of #6), removing the probability that you might run into conflicts with currently established (and highly documented) knowledge.
I still note that I have an identified David Abernathy, birth given as 1803, for which no spouse, issue nor death is, to the best of my knowledge, cited, and that one might still be the young David Abernathy listed on that Maury County tax list (one of his brothers is found in 1880 in north-east Alabama), despite your strongly voiced assertation otherwise. And I'm still not sure that there wasn't a David son of William Abernathy and Winifred Kimbrel, birth date given as 1799; known to be still alive in Apr 1846; spouse, issue, or death unknown. This possiblility depends, however, on "unseating" or revising the data on the David/Daniel Addison Abernathy who is found in 1850 Marshall County MS as a son of William and Winifred, b. 1799 and noted on the 1800 census tallys. Which I don't think is all that likely.
> (4) In 1830 and 1840 Shelby Co. AL, David Abernathy is shown as being in the same (projected) age category as the
> David in 1820 Giles TN, and with children's ages
Yes, but that does not indicate that the David found there is the same individual as was found in Giles County in 1820, Otis. Age alone can't cinch the argument no more than can the name coincidentally being similar.
> Three (possibly four) other families can be traced from Maury, (or at least Giles )TN, living next/near him in 1830/40.
Proximity of families living near one another is not unknown, nor of kin-groups migrating together to new locations. But it is not a certainty that ALL members of ALL such families migrate together in ALL such instances. Nor is it, in and of itself, proof positive that one family found in a pre-1850 census HAS to be the same as another family headed by someone of the same name in a later census year. Certaintly not when you're dealing exclusively with the sparse information from the pre-1850 census era, when you don't even have names of children to assist you in making a match.
> (5) The (my) David in 1850 Macon Co. Al, District 21, has the same projected age as all the previous David's,
Oh, yes, indeed he does, but the age range is rather wide in all three census years and that still doesn't PROVE that he's the exact same individual on all those census records. Don't you want your lineage so strongly established that no one can possibly query it? If so, you must prove it beyond a shadow of doubt, so solidly that NO one can pick holes in your story. I can't even do that yet with my lineage back to Robert in Charles City County VA! To David, father of Nancy (Abernathy) Forney, yes. Beyond that, I am still researching evidence as best I can. And finding more questions than there are answers.
> plus: son Coleman is b. TN. His son, (living close by, also in Dist. 21,) Joseph T. Abernathy, is b. TN.
Granted, the 1850 Macon census shows Coleman and Joseph as being born in TN. But you see, Otis, on the basis of what you sent me, the census records are the ONLY documentable evidence that you have to prove the location of their births. And what do the later census records (especially the 1880 one) cite? Two sons (David Nathaniel and Joseph Robert) list contradictory data: one lists both parent born in SC, the other lists both parents born in TN. The entry for Elizabeth Mobley Abernathy (if that is, indeed, her, listed as Lula Abernathy, in the household of Mary Jennings) gives her birth in AL with both parents b. SC. The two daughters (Sarah and Melissa) are the only two who agree: they cite their own birth in AL, and indicate a Father b. in TN and a Mother b. in AL.
Moreover, a census doesn't positively demonstrate that an alleged child living close by is, in fact, a child of a particular couple. Only your family lore and what circumstantial evidence one can obtain implys that this Joseph HAS to be that David's son.
One family's lore claimed that David and Christina (Forney) Abernathy's children were James, Sarah, Clara, Martha, David, Turner, Joshua, Grief and Polly. And that their father died when daughter Sarah was barely 7 yrs old, leaving Christina to rear her children. Sarah married in 1810 in Lincoln County NC. And the Father, David Abernathy, died in 1796 and may have been married to a Frances Forney, but never to Christina Forney, daughter of Jacob and Mariah (Bergner) Forney. (I have only one of Jacob and Mariah Forney's daughters whose issue I have not yet traced.)
Christina Forney did not even have a sister named Frances, so we don't yet (and may never) know who that woman was.
On the whole, Otis, your research progresses. As leary as I have been about your initial premis (now apparently in the process of being modified, if not discarded entirely), such progress cannot be anything but good in the long run. Unless, of course, you fail (as have so many) to document your sources, apply stringent logic to substantiating the conclusions drawn from them, and publish not just your conclusions but all the sources (in detail) and the logical steps by which you arrived at those conclusions.
It does seem that you might need to learn more on how to properly cite your sources, which you are only now beginning to do.
Unless one properly cites sources of data, one's research is virtually worthless. This is a lesson many learn the hard way, having to go back and re-document what they found and failed to properly cite in the first place, years previously. Indeed, failure to cite sources can be devestatingly dangerous to serious researchers, causing them to waste upwards of thousands of hours in an attempt to duplicate the uncited research and produce the reported results.
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. And a rather costly one it was, too.